It’s the beginning of the end for my days here at Puget Sound. The fact that I am now a senior has begun to sink in, as I just wrapped up my final year as a Perspectives leader this past Sunday. I also went to my first Senior Thesis class and I have begun to ponder the question which everyone keeps asking me, “So, what are you going to do after you graduate?” That is such a loaded question, which I cannot even begin to answer and frankly, I don’t want to right now. It was only just weeks ago that I was consumed with my summer research project and enjoying the many facets of Tacoma but now, reality has sunk in: I am a senior and College is not just about fun and games anymore. Sure, I will enjoy the last year of what many claim is “the best four years of their life,” but it just isn’t the same as those carefree days of living in the dorms and the future consisting of what plans and activities the weekend has in store. No, now, the future is the rest of my life. And that is scary stuff.
As I walk around campus (or more so rush from place to place); I feel old. Not in the sense of age, but I feel like I have a lot more responsibility on my back and knowledge in my head. I wish I could go back to those days when my friends and I would hang out on Todd Field and enjoy the few sunny days Ron Thom’s magic gives us. Because today, I feel like I need to be doing something productive all the time. Daylight hours cannot be wasted just hanging out. God forbid on a weekday! I am an adult now and have things to do and places to be. I wish it wasn’t this way but the fact of the matter is that I will need to find a job soon and really, seriously, think about what I want my future to look like.
As the notorious Billy Madison once said, “Back to school. Back to school, to prove to Dad that I’m not a fool. I got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don’t get in a fight. Oh! Back to school… back to school… back to school. Well, here goes nothing.” As foolish and childish as this movie may be, Billy does kind of have a point because each year we all end up going back to school. Now, not all of us are trying to prove to our parents that we can graduate high school like Billy (we’ve already done that), but in some way or another, we are proving to our parents that we want to be successful in life. But when does the choice to return each year go beyond the pressures of parents and the norms of society? For me, I feel like sometime during my college experience, I transitioned from relating education to something that must occur to something that I truly wanted. It was at that point when my education was no longer a duty but a voluntary decision to enrich my life which coincided with the same point when I began to feel old. Once college is not just about meeting new people or making fun weekend plans, and it becomes the most important factor in securing your future existence, you begin to act a little differently. And although I am nostalgic about my easy-going years here, I look forward to a future full of successes which can be attributed to that turning point in my opinion about education.
So now as I have thoroughly freaked myself out about the future by writing this rather sentimental and nostalgic blog, I am going to begin researching jobs and graduate schools… so it begins!